Tied by Diplomacy, MEA Goes Soft in Saudi Case

Published: 11th September 2015 05:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2015 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

GURGAON:Three days after allegations of gang-rape and torture of two Nepalese women by a Saudi Arabia diplomat based in New Delhi came to light, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called the ambassador on Thursday to convey a “request” for “cooperation” in the investigation.

This is after the Gurgaon police sent a “detailed” report to the MEA on their investigation into the case and preliminary views on Wednesday. The report was sent hours after a second medical examination confirmed rape of the women.

With the pressure building up, the MEA is in a precarious situation. On one hand, it needs to cater justice, and on the other, it needs to maintain smooth ties with Nepal and Saudi Arabia. “MEA Chief of Protocol called in Saudi Ambassador today and conveyed request of Haryana Police for cooperation of Embassy in the case of two Nepali citizens,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The 45-minute long meeting took place in Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, MEA’s second home in Delhi, where Saudi ambassador Saud Mohammed Alsati met with the Chief of Protocol Jaideep Mazumdar. Sources said that the ambassador did not give any response to the Indian request at the meeting, but promised to convey it to Riyadh and return with a response later.

It is highly unlikely that the Saudi government will make a U-turn on its stance with regard to the diplomat. Either the Saudi embassy will voluntarily withdraw the diplomat or India could declare him persona non grata. If India expels the Saudi diplomat, it will lead to a tit-for-tat from Riyadh.

Meanwhile, AIDWA activists demanded that no diplomatic immunity be given to the ambassador.

Alsati protests police intrusion

Saudi diplomat Saud Mohammed Alsati met with MEA joint secretary (Gulf) Thanglura Darlong and registered protest at the “intrusion” of police into a diplomatic residence covered with diplomatic immunity as per the Vienna convention.

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